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Do You Disagree with the Exclusion Policy? (Part 6)

In November 2015, the Church issued the PoX, or Policy of Exclusion.  The Exclusion Policy prevents children of gay parents from being baptized or further ordination in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In our last interview with Kurt Francom, we’ll get his opinions, and my opinions, and you’ll find out they are in disagreement quite a bit. It’s also a wonderful way in which we model that people can disagree but still maintain good friendships, even in Sunday School.  So, this is an important conversation, and I hope you check it out.

GT:  But at any rate, I mean we make such a big deal about a child being baptized at the age of eight. It’s in the Doctrine and Covenants. I mean it’s scripture. And Jesus said it’s better than a millstone be hanged around the neck than to offend these little ones. Okay. Now the church leaders are, number one, they’re ignoring this apparent Doctrine and Covenants scripture when it comes to children of gay parents. Number two, they seem to be ignoring the second article of faith: we are punished for our own sins, and [not for] Adam’s transgression and some people try to say, “Well, it’s just Adam.” No, I should not be punished for your sins. You should not be punished for my sins. My children should not be punished for my sins. I mean, we all have free agency, right?

GT:  If my child can’t get baptized at age 8, because I’m gay or whatever, that’s not right. That just feels wrong to me. And I know that a lot of people say, “Well, when they’re 18, they can do it.” Then why doesn’t everybody get baptized at age 18? If it’s so important that we’ve got a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that they’re supposed to be baptized at age eight, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.

Kurt:  Right.

GT:  And there are people between the age of 8 and 18, even that get baptized and fall away from the church, so why would we think that a kid who doesn’t get baptized at eight is suddenly going to get baptized at 18? Especially given that they have to repudiate their parent’s relationship. That logic doesn’t make any sense to me.

Kurt:  Yeah. And, wrestle with it. It breaks my heart when people wrestle with it to the point where they just completely separate themselves. Am I in favor for the policy or against it? I see both sides and I’m just trying to maintain in patience as we figure that out.

GT:  I’m trying to be patient too, but it’s hard.

Kurt:  Yeah, I know. But we need you there on Sunday. We need you to have influence and keep battling there. And I’m not trying to dodge it. I just, I see the struggle in that question. But at the same time, we just have to step back. And part of the greatest thing about being a leader, being a bishop is you have so much empathy for bishops after that. You have so much empathy for apostles after that, for leaders. These are difficult decisions and is the policy the best answer? Maybe, maybe not. But, they have the keys to direct, and they are directing, doing the best that they can. Whether it is exactly right or exactly wrong, or their lack of action in the bishop interview issue is exactly right, or exactly wrong, they’re doing their best to direct. And I think all things considered. We’re moving in the right way and nobody will ever regret having patience, more and more patience with their leaders, and holding on and in the wrestle.

Kurt:  And I love that scripture about Jacob wrestling with the angel or with God. And he got to a point that he refused to let go until God blessed him. And so you must refuse to let go until God blesses us and brings greater light and knowledge and then while doing that realize that these leaders are doing the best they can and they deserve some patience.

Check out our conversation, as well as our other conversations with Kurt…

The Church says children of gay parents can't be baptized. Does this conflict with D&C 68:25?
The Church says children of gay parents can’t be baptized. Does this conflict with D&C 68:25?

222: Should the Church Modify Bishop’s Interviews?

221: Results of Faith Crisis Research

220: “We’ve Got to Have These Difficult Conversations”

219: Ministering to the Faithful & Faithless

218: Is it Bad to be Called LDS or Mormon?

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“There is Nothing in LDS Theology that Justifies Whacking Infants” (POX)

The November 2015 Policy is called by some the POX, or Policy of Exclusion.  The policy excludes children of gay Mormons from being blessed, baptized, or ordained in the LDS Church.  Greg Prince came to Utah back in September to discuss the science of being gay, and we talked about that in our last episode.  In our next conversation we’ll ask about theological justifications of the ban.  What does Greg Prince think about this policy?

Greg:  I think this policy has done a lot of damage, and that’s not just a supposition.  You can put real numbers behind that.  I don’t like to be in the position of explaining to the president of the seminary why my church is whacking infants.  But I didn’t explain that.  I said, “David, I don’t understand this anymore than you do.”  Because there is nothing in LDS theology that I know of that justifies whacking infants; they are pure and sin-free. We are punishing them with this policy.

We’ll also ask about the common questions:  will the LDS Church be forced to marry gay members in the LDS Temples?  What does Greg Prince think about that?

Greg:  I’m telling you it’s an empty justification.  It’s scare talk.  It has no basis in reality…. it’s a bankrupt argument.

We’ll talk a little bit about the history of marriage in the LDS Church for heterosexual couples, and I think Greg has an interesting point right at the outset that you may find interesting.

Greg:  Up until 1960s within the United States you could have a civil wedding ceremony and go to the temple the next day to be sealed.

GT:  Until the ‘60s.

Greg:  Yeah, late ‘60s.

GT:  Wow.

Why did that change?  Check out our conversation….. and tells us your thoughts about this interview!